2008 Football Pool Leaves Me in the Dust

Monday, November 17, 2008

I don't know what my problem is this year with the football pool but I continue to perform to new personal record low levels of mediocrity. We have essentially finished ten weeks of football pools and I have yet to win once, let alone make it to a Monday Night game that meant anything to me. Heck, I am usually out of it by Sunday night.

My lack of winning results may make you think that I do not care about the football pool, as I have typically won at least once at this point and am usually more competitive than I have been. My most successful football pool though did not come until December 10th last year (I was the first to have a perfect pool) I will say that I have not exactly been in football mode from the start of the season, thanks in large part to the wonderful Phillies season I was so engrossed in. In fact once the Phillies clinched their World Series championship I thought it would take me some time to get into the football mode again. Meanwhile Penn State was running the table so I switched immediately to college football mode, bypassing the NFL completely. Then this happened and now I realize I need to focus on my football pools a little more than I have been.

It's not that I haven't cared about my football pools. In fact most of the time I thought I was making some good picks. There were a couple weeks that I felt totally unsure about any of my picks, but I attribute that to my lack of knowledge on how the NFL was panning out. While the Phillies and Penn State were having their respective magical seasons I did not care to read or research anything NFL related. Pro football was somewhat of an after thought so I based my decisions not on what had happened in 2008, but what I thought would happen in 2008.

Once Tom Brady went out I put no faith in the Patriots. When I did I got burned.

I failed to believe in the Tennessee Titans, even with my favorite Nittany Lions quarterback leading the team to an undefeated run without Vince Young, who was supposed to be the main guy.

I picked the Houston Texans more than I should have because of my fandom for fellow West Chester East alum Matt Schaub. I picked them when I was unaware he wasn't playing.

As I do every year I put too much stock in the Philadelphia Eagles, although this week a tie neither hurts nor helps, except for the fact that I put 14 points on them.

So after eleven weeks where do I stand? Fifteenth place out of a possible sixteen. I am a daunting 208 points out of first place heading in to tonight's game between the Bills and the Browns. To make matters worse, I am 131 points behind my dad which will ensure I hear about my poor performance every time I see him. Joy.

This year I started to use an Excel file to track my performance. It has been painful but it is a good illustration to view my results against the winner from week to week. Take a look;
You can click the image for a better view but if you can't read the legend, the graph's lines tell the story pretty well. The blue line tracks my point totals. The green line tracks the winner's point total from week to week. The black line is the possible points in each week, and the red line tracks the difference between my picks and the winner's picks. For example, in week one I earned 81 points and the winner that week earned 102 points. The red line shows that I was 21 points short of winning, or as the Eagles and Bengals like to do, a tie.

As you can tell, week seven killed me. I made my picks for who would win the games, but I forgot to assign confidence points. I can't even use the Phillies as an excuse because they were sitting around waiting to see who they would play in the World Series at that point. Ugh.

Other than week seven though I seem to follow the general trends as the winner from week to week. I seem to be falling off the past couple weeks though. If winning the overall pool is out of the question then I must set my goals to win as many individual weeks as possible. I'll be sure to update my progress on the blog each week until the end of the season.

My goals for the final six weeks;
  1. Win at least one week
  2. Make three Monday Night games worth caring about
  3. Break 1,200 points for the season - 520 points over six weeks (roughly 87 points a week)
  4. Finish in 13th place or above - Currently sit 65 points out of 13th
  5. Cut Dad's lead to 85 - I will have to gain an average of 7.7 points per week on him

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